Sunday, June 17, 2012

COPS & Community Workshop Happens Monday

A "COPS & Community" workshop will be held Monday, June 18 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Nurture Nature Center, 518 Northampton St.

One in a series of such events around the city that have been held since last year, the purpose of the meetings and this program is to better facilitate communication between city residents and the Easton Police Department with the stated aim of creating a safer environment for both citizens and police.

From a flyer seen posted in various locations around the city:
"The workshops will provide a unique opportunity to develop new relationships and seek collaborative solutions to interactions between law enforcement and the community. Together, police and residents will do the following:
  • Recognize triggers and other obstacles that prevent building relationships with community members
  • Appreciate the power of personal stories from community members and police to gain insight into their experiences
  • Listen for and respect the emotional content in what community members express
  • Use practical conflict resolution process to find common ground in dealing with an issue that would otherwise lead to continuing tension
  • Acquire a tool box of ways to improve interpersonal communication by decreasing defensiveness with particular attention to tone of voice and body language
  • Help increase safety for community members and law enforcement"
The event will be facilitated by Guillermo Lopez, of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) and will be used towards the development of a training program designed to help the EPD improve its relationship with community residents through the Easton Community Policing Program. It is open to and intended for residents of all four of the city's neighborhoods.

The culmination of the workshops will be the formation of a resource team of both residents and police, who will undergo a three-day training course later this year in November.

Those planning to attend must pre-register, online here, or by emailing program facilitator Guillermo Lopez. Alternatively,  call Lopez at 484-450-6224 or contact the Easton Weed and Seed office at 610-438-2680.

The effort is supported by a $50,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, in addition to the EPD, Weed and Seed and the Greater Easton Development Partnership.

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